Kingsborough's common reading program was inaugurated at a meeting of the Faculty Assembly in Spring 2001. Like universities across the country, we wanted to adopt a program that would cultivate a reading culture and foster campus community through reading, discussion, teaching and research on a single book. Since its inception, the program has been highly collaborative, with participation of members from every part of our campus in events, meetings, debates, art projects, book nominations, reading groups and other programs.
The mission of KCC Reads is threefold. The utility of a university common reading program is in the way it not only fosters a spirit of community but can function to develop students in important ways: research and public speaking skills, critical thinking and writing skills, leadership skills, as well as preparing our graduates for senior college or for the career they may enter upon graduation. Student enrichment is our primary focus: to introduce students to intellectual life and buoy their development as socially responsible, civically engaged citizens. KCC Reads also aims to enhance and sustain campus community through a Cohort that organizes events and selects the annual book and the broader collective work of teaching, reading and conducting research on the annual books. Finally, the program engages a social justice agenda, both through research elaborating the social and political themes of chosen books, and through philanthropic, social justice and other volunteer work in Brooklyn, wider New York City, and the world beyond.
To these ends, we organize an Events series in which a large number of students, staff and faculty collaborate. Our first event is the KCC Reads Inaugural Day, where we launch the program for the year, discuss teaching strategies and distribute the book to students. We then host a number of smaller events throughout the year—film screenings, field trips, talks or panel discussions of the faculty, students or invited guests, teaching workshops, student roundtables and multimedia presentations, events for Black and Women's History Months and for the KCC Eco Festival—followed by holding our culminating program, the KCC Reads Annual Student Conference where students present their work on the book through panel and roundtable discussions, poster and Power Point presentations, and as part of multiple exhibitions. Kingsborough students also participate in the planning and management of this event, which concludes with a Keynote Lecture given by the author or an expert in the field.
The conference involves two additional mechanisms of student support. First, the KCC Reads Social Justice Award is given to students who present the best paper, project or art piece on a social justice theme. Secondly, we publish a student journal—Paideia: The Journal of KCC Reads—including outstanding scholarly and creative work in multiple genres and with a focus on material presented at the conference.
Peruse the website, get to know the program and consider adopting the book, attending events or joining the Cohort...
Read about this year’s wonderful and important KCC Reads selection, New York Times Bestseller Eating Animals by Brooklyn-based novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.
Contact program coordinator Maureen Fadem with questions about the program, about how we might improve this website, and/or if you would like to get involved or have ideas for the KCC Reads.
KCC READS is part of the Coordinated Undergraduate Education Initiative (CUE) at Kingsborough Community College, overseen by our Associate Provost, Dr. Reza Fakhari (M-386, 718-368-5029).